Windies cherishing Test return after coronavirus hiatus, says Holder

The first Test match between England and West Indies is scheduled to take place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from July 8.

West Indies captain Jason Holder felt the side's performances as a whole were not consistently up to scratch at World Cup 2019.

West Indies captain Jason Holder.   -  Getty Images

West Indies captain Jason Holder says his team should cherish the opportunity to play Test cricket in a series that could have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first Test match is scheduled to take place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from July 8, with the last two matches scheduled to happen at Old Trafford.

All the games will be played without spectators, while the Caribbean players have already set up in their base at Manchester's Old Trafford where they are quarantined at the on-site hotel.

“I see so many leagues in jeopardy and the World T20 as well -- so the mere fact we are getting an opportunity to play cricket I think we should cherish that,” Holder told reporters.

“Many organisations are taking pay cuts and we have suddenly got our opportunity now to make some money so we have a lot of things to be thankful for and I think we just have to relish the opportunity and grab it with both hands,” he added.

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There has been no international cricket since March 13 due to the pandemic and the status of the World T20 tournament, scheduled to begin in Australia on October 18, remains uncertain.

West Indies' squad has to spend three weeks at Old Trafford before heading to Southampton and with its movement restricted to the ground and hotel they face a challenge to avoid boredom.

But Holder expects his team to cope with the restrictions.

“Guys have different ways of doing it. We've been to some places, for example, in the sub-continent (where) you dont go outside the hotel too much,” said Holder.

West Indies hold the Wisden Trophy after beating England 2-1 in a three-test series in the Caribbean last year but Holder is not reading too much into that win.

So many things have changed from then to now, conditions being one of them. To call us favourites would be wrong. England are a higher ranked side than us and I think they are favourites in their back yard,” said Holder.

There is lots to play for and lots to motivate you as a group. Guys are pumped up for the opportunity and the only sad thing is that we won't be able to play in front of the crowds.”

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